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Uncloistered VirtueEnglish Political Literature, 1640-1660$
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Thomas N. Corns

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198128830

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198128830.001.0001

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Levellers, Diggers, and Ranters

Levellers, Diggers, and Ranters

(p.129) 5 Levellers, Diggers, and Ranters
Uncloistered Virtue

Thomas N. Corns

Oxford University Press

By the late 1640s different groupings emerged, Levellers, Diggers, Ranters, all fading or mutating in the early 1650s, to be supplanted in the English political consciousness by Quakers and Fifth Monarchists. The movements were of profoundly unequal significance in their own age. Levellerism produces demonstrations several thousand strong, provoked serious munities in the New Model Army, and occasioned genuine anxiety among members of the Ram Parliament. The Diggers' experimental communism was a much more localized phenomenon, though possibly more extensive than it once seemed, and its termination proved an easy matter. Ranterism, while it produced some fascinating texts, achiever a notoriety disproportionate to its extent.

Keywords:   Levellers, Diggers, Ranters, New Model Army, English political consciousness

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